Nov. 10, 2021
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working with the University of Arkansas’s Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit to study the recent increase in nonnative Egyptian Geese occurring in Arkansas. The species, once popular in zoos and aviaries, has escaped and formed wild populations in many states, including portions of Arkansas.
This statewide effort at locating Egyptian geese is in partnership with Dr. Caleb Roberts, the University of Arkansas’s USGS Cooperative Wildlife Unit's Assistant Leader.
The Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) is an invasive species of waterfowl which is native to central and southern Africa. The species has a beige chest and dark brown, dark orange, black, and white feathers on its back. Distinctive dark brown patches surround its eyes. The beak is pink on top and black on the bottom. Additional details about their identification and life history can be found at https://ebird.org/species/egygoo.
So far, the species has been seen in Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas River Valley. They have the potential to devastate crop species, and compete with native waterfowl for resources. The species can become very aggressive and chase native waterfowl and wildlife from their habitats. Because they often live and breed near commercial poultry and wild waterfowl, Egyptian geese have potential to spread disease. And like many geese species, their droppings foul green spaces such as golf-courses, parks and lawns.
AGFC is working with the Cooperative Wildlife Unit on this project to track and determine the current range, and expansion of Arkansas's nonnative Egyptian Goose population, and to gain insight on the species impacts to water quality and waterfowl habitat.